• Published 12th Apr 2016
  • 14,954 Views, 12,558 Comments

Three More Things! - Tatsurou

Uncle Chan tries to balance running an antique shop, fighting demons, and being a Chi Wizard with being a loving Uncle to his nephew, his somewhat removed niece...and three little ponies who drive him straight up the wall.

  • ...

PreviousChapters Next
In the Name of the Moon

Once the sign was completed and prominently hung at exactly Jackie's eye level - along with placing a filly-height sign that read "Look up" directly underneath it, just in case Jackie was looking for them rather than where he was going when he came up the steps of the Temple - Xu Lin confidently led the group of youngsters deeper into the Temple. As they moved, the group found their concept of spatial dimensions and physics greatly challenged. Not only was the space within the Temple far vaster than its exterior dimensions should have allowed for, pathways did not follow logical patterns either. One chamber that looked to be large enough to hold the entire Temple's exterior dimensions looked like it had been lifted from an Escher print. Stairways went in every conceivable directions with doorways on both the top and bottom leading to completely different rooms, with 'down' always feeling like it was in the direction one was standing on...even when one leaned over the side and stared at another doing the same, to the point you could reach out and take their hand. Some stairways even twisted mid-path, or looped around on themselves.

Scootaloo took one look at the massive chamber as the first entered and promptly came in for landing, fixing her hooves to the stairs and folding her wings tight. "Not flying here, nope nope nope..." she muttered worriedly, her eyes tight shut. "Not opening my eyes either. Those air currents are crazy..." The markings on her legs glowed slightly as she generated static electricity within them just to anchor herself more securely to the stairs.

"Yes, that would probably be best," Xu Lin observed nervously. "The Temple does not like it when one tries to take shortcuts in this chamber. The paths can become...irritable." She shivered nervously. "That was not a pleasant full moon..."

"Then we'll stick to the paths," Sweetie Belle stated firmly. "I don't like breaking rules, anyway."

"What are you doing?" Jade asked Apple Bloom as she dragged one hoof behind her, leaving a string of glowing moss.

"If Uncle Jackie shows up lookin' for us, we dun want him wandering around willy-nilly, right?" she asked simply. "And this place makes Minos' masterpiece look like the back o' a cereal box. Figure living moss works better than ribbon any day. After all, Jackie won't have Xu Lin to guide him."

"Good idea," Jade concluded. "I guess it's too much to hope for that we'll be finished here before he comes looking for us, right?"

"Jade!" Jackie called out loudly as he searched through the bamboo grove, trying to locate the girls. "Apple Bloom! Sweetie Belle! Scoota-WAGH!" His scream was a reaction to the monk seeming to appear out of nowhere as he pulled some bamboo aside, smiling up at him.

"Perhaps the wayward cubs are closer than you think," the monk offered helpfully, pulling more bamboo aside to reveal the towering structure that sat glimmering in the moonlight.

"The Lotus Temple?" Jackie gasped in surprise, only to shake his head in wonder. He should have known the girls would be drawn to the magical structure. They were obviously somewhere inside. As he moved to climb the steps, he noticed the monk not moving. "Aren't you coming?" he asked curiously.

"I will wait here," the monk offered calmly. "I would not want to...intrude."

Jackie immediately noticed the odd emphasis placed on that last word, as well as the odd way the monk twiddled his fingers.

"There's a Guardian to the Temple meant to pursue intruders," Dark Jackie stated bluntly from Jackie's left shoulder. He drew his Balance Breaker sword. "We should grill him for everything he knows. There's plenty of bamboo around to help."

"No!" Light Jackie insisted from Jackie's right shoulder. "That is the sort of thing bad people do! We are not bad! Besides, if the girls are inside, the guardian might be attacking them!"

"If Apple Bloom was in danger, Audrey would have made a move," Dark Jackie countered.

"He's not above us," Light Jackie indicated.

"...which means we need to get in there before monster fight destroys everything we're looking for," Dark Jackie concluded as Jackie turned to race up the steps. "Damn. I was really looking forward to grilling this monk. If that mustache were any more sleazy and grew into a goatee, I'd think he was Jafar."

"Why didn't you warn me?" Jackie demanded of Dark Jackie.

"He knew what we needed," Dark Jackie responded. "Besides, like I said, I was looking forward to grilling him."

"Wait, you can see and hear us?" Light Jackie asked in surprise. "I thought we were just an artistic representation of an internal mental debate."

"With how much magic we live with on a daily basis, you're honestly surprised we manifest as a literal shoulder angel and devil?" Dark Jackie demanded. "I'm surprised - and disappointed - I don't have a pitchfork and bodysuit and you lack a dress, harp, and halo."

"One, it would be a robe," Light Jackie corrected primly. "Two, we aren't good vs evil representations. Yin and Yang aren't so cut and dried, especially with us. I'm the gentle peacemaker, you're the ruthless scrapper. We're two different worldviews, but both grounded in world reality rather than ethical or moral considerations."

"Three, you two are very distracting," Jackie interrupted irritably as he made it halfway up the steps, "not to mention seriously confusing. Do you have any idea how hard it is to pretend I don't see you when someone's there? The last thing I need is Viper or Augustus thinking all this magic craziness has caused me to have a psychotic break."

Both Shoulder Jackies gave Jackie speculative looks. "Funny you list Viper so quickly on that list," Dark Jackie observed teasingly.

"Augustus is understandable, since he's military and remembers the old world," Light Jackie pointed out. "But why are you so concerned about what Viper thinks of you?"

"Besides, maybe she'd like it if she thought you were a little crazy," Dark Jackie pointed out teasingly. "You know what they say about crazy people in bed."

Light Jackie pointed challengingly at Dark Jackie. "Okay, you deserve the pitchfork for that one. Or at least the horns."

"Yes, Viper does make me-"

"Enough!" Jackie wailed as he waved his hands in an attempt to disperse the metaphysical manifestations of the different aspects of his mind. "I need to focus on finding the-WAGH!"

His distraction with his Shoulder Selves caused him to trip on the top step, landing at eye level with a sign that said, "Look Up!" When he got to his feet, he saw another sign.

Enter only with written or spoken invitation,
Or be pursued by the Guardian
Jackie, Audrey III, come on in!
Everyone else, STAY OUT!

Jackie blinked at that for a time.

"I guess we aren't 'intruding'," Light Jackie offered playfully before finally vanishing.

"This is the part where you groan and say, 'Bad Day', right?" Dark Jackie teased before vanishing.

Jackie let out a pained groan. "...bad day..."

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
PreviousChapters Next
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!